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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 21, 2013

Panthers fail 'in bid to buy Wanderers'

NRL club Penrith have reportedly failed to buy A-League club the Western Sydney Wanderers.

The Panthers recently lodged an expression of interest with investment bank UBS, who have been instructed to sell the competition's one-season-old club for up to $15 million, according to News Limited.

But Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop, who was boss of the NRL for 10 years until 2012, rejected the Panthers' offer.

"Why would we contemplate selling the Wanderers to a club from another code?" Gallop said on Wednesday night.

"And while we are posing these questions, why would a club from another code want to invest their money and build up a rival?"

Western Sydney is a fierce battle ground between the Australia's three football codes and soccer scored a significant blow when the Wanderers enjoyed a fairytale debut season.

The club, owned by the FFA, was put together in just a few short months but built a large and passionate following all the way to the grand final before losing to Central Coast.

While the idea of an NRL club buying into a rival code's club may seem bizarre, Penrith Panthers Group CEO Warren Wilson was surprised their interest was shot down so promptly.

"Personally I can't believe soccer was silly enough to say no to us," said Wilson.

"They should have at least let us in the door and put a price on the table. We might have been the biggest bidder yet they've shut it down."

However, Gallop said the biggest offer may not be the best for the future of the club and league and they'll be careful to avoid "a sale to anyone who we believe can't align the community interests with the business interests."

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